How can the EU help to address digital challenges in Africa?

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The COVID-19 pandemic is speeding up digital transformation worldwide, including Africa. However, the pandemic has also exposed the digital divide between and within countries. The digital divide is especially grave for developing countries where the introduction of digital services is either slowed down or impossible due to limited or no access to internet infrastructure and technologies, and lack of digital skills.In recent years, the EU prioritised digital technology in its international development policy – as reflected in its Digital4Development approach and Digital Single Market initiative. However, as specific support for digitalisation is a relatively new part of the EU’s foreign policy, the EU has only funded a small number of digital projects for development so far. At the same time, digital challenges in the EU partner countries in Africa were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the EU needs to adapt its approach to digital cooperation with partner countries to the new conditions.

This online event aims to explore how the EU could help its partner countries in Africa to better respond to two main digital challenges: connectivity/affordability of internet and lack of digital skills. The online discussion will also inform decision-makers from the EU, its member states and partner countries on digital development challenges and opportunities ahead of the EU-Africa Summit in 2020.
Above all, this event will offer a platform to both Africans and Europeans to share their ideas and views on an eye-level, rather than being a one-sided discussion.

As a result of the event, policy recommendations on the EU’s support to digital development in Africa will be presented in a form of a report. The report will be disseminated to EU decision-makers ahead on the EU-Africa Summit.

Speakers: CSO leaders and experts from the partner countries (Africa) and representatives from the EU institutions

The event is part of a series of events on the future of Europe on the Europe Future Fringe platform. Find out more here:

When posting about the event, use the hashtags #EuropeFutureFringe #EUAFRICA #DigitalDevelopment.

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